Happy belated Halloween! For my final installment of “scary” columns in honor of the holiday, I thought about taking the easy way out and putting together a collection of pumpkin-related submissions. There were going to be pumpkin-painted pregnant bellies and pumpkin-painted baby butts and babies stuck inside of carved gourds — all arguably trendy and certainly Halloween-y. But you know what? No.
This holiday has been tempered for years, with decorations and events skewing more “family-friendly” so as to not terrify precious children. So many parents are scared of their kids being scared. It is truly a frightful thing to be the principal of a school that still has a Halloween Day parade, or to be the decorations-loving neighbor of a parent who “doesn’t believe” in” Halloween. Some parents would rather shelter their children from all the scary stuff than teach them to embrace it. That’s understandable, but I’m of the mind that it’s a whole lot more fun to embrace it.
And yet, even though it seems like parents are more concerned than ever about their kids being scared, they don’t seem concerned about terrifying their Facebook friends at all. It’s interesting how this dichotomy plays out. I’ve found that some of the most “offended” helicopter parents are often the same ones who overshare, particularly about big events like childbirth. The chances that a woman who’s offended by a truck decal would post photos of her baby’s birth on Facebook are actually pretty high (hypothetically speaking).
So with that in mind, I’m not taking the easy way out today. I’m not sparing your eyeballs. It’s Halloween week, and this column is going to be scary, dammit. Besides, I always appreciate an opportunity to remind parents that your friends really don’t want to see your birth pics (and that includes your fellow parent friends, too). Trust me. The pictures are beautiful to you, but they’re horrifying to the rest of us. Here are five examples of images that your friends definitely don’t want to see in your Facebook baby album.
1. Fish Eye Lens Perspective
While I think it’s safe to say that most people are excited to see pictures of a new baby, no one expects to see the baby literally the moment s/he was born. The miracle of childbirth merging with the evolution of technology is both a wonderful and terrifying thing. This is proven on Facebook every single day.
2. Head Popping Out
A particularly common shot posted in baby albums is the “head popping out” C-section photo. It makes sense, considering the probability of getting a clear picture, but here’s what I don’t understand: Why do parents want to share this with the whole world? Doesn’t it make more sense to wait until the baby’s whole body has been extracted so that he’s not wearing a large coat made of human skin when he’s introduced to the internet?
3. Vernix aka Birth Gunk
This is a sweet picture, but I like my friends’ newborn pictures the way the FCC likes rap lyrics: clean. If your baby is coated in something that’s described as “cottage cheese” by definition, you might want to keep it in the private family album (if anyone even has those anymore?).
Last year’s Halloween column was all about placenta, but we never actually got to see it being prepared for consumption, so I figured I’d remedy that this year. And wow – talk about a comprehensive look at treating medical waste like a choice cut of sirloin. Apparently placenta also tastes good with shallot.
5. Surgery Site
Some people are so haunted by certain images, they’ll jump at the chance to submit them to the blog several years after seeing them. And in this case, I think it’s clear to see why. Even Bethany herself labels the picture as “GRAPHIC,” as she knowingly scared the crap out of her friends by giving them an eyeful of her insides. Note to parents: No one wants to see your (or your partner’s) stomach cut open. Ever. Unless you want to give your friends an excuse to slightly resent your baby.